A Gutful Of Cognitive Dissonance

I’m on a roll here, of reposting old blogs – this ones from 2013!

I have this thing about health – good health – I like it.  I value it.  I’d like to keep it for as long as I can!  I’m an inexperienced and unsophisticated patient.  Yes, I’m an IMPATIENT!  When unwell, I’m mean and grumpy and lack perspective.  Surely I’m not alone in that regard?  (Although I do know a few people who suffer – I mean really suffer, and there’s never so much as a whimper out of them … makes me sick at myself!)

So anyway, it’s really not only good for me, but good for everyone if I stay healthy … and isn’t that true for us all?!

I’m really interested in the notion of the effect it generates, the ripple effect we create when we are not feeling well, when we are suffering …

Work Life BalanceTime is BIG!  It’s just another one of those social construct thingies!

Some of us are so busy being busy, and outwardly focussed on work, kids, family, what we have to “get done”, looking after others (just our normal day to day stuff), that we don’t even notice what is going on for US – that perhaps we are not actually feeling quite well – and maybe we notice that those around us are using the words “cranky” and “moody” a lot when referring to us!!  Are you the kind of person that notices how you feel as the feeling arises, enabling you to respond to life consciously & intelligently from that place?  Or the type that bypasses that stage and notices that you’re being a bit irritable with you partner, or impatient with your kids, or intolerant of your workmates?!  Or maybe you even bypass that stage and instead find yourself saying things to yourself like ‘he/she is so useless, I have to do EVERYTHING myself!” or “why do my kids have to be so needy?!” or “I friggin’ hate working!” … the problem is always somebody else?!

I’m forever thinking about how what we put into our mouths, our systems, affects how we feel, how we live, how we sleep, how we (dys)function, how we suffer, and the effect all this has on everything and everyone around us.  It’s probably not that unusual, whenever any of us as kids complained of an ailment, my mother always questioned what we had eaten and how much of it, or felt free to comment that a certain type of food didn’t suit our temperament!  We thought she was mad, or at least – annoying!!  Sorry mum – you were onto it alright!

I don’t diet.   I like instead to livet!  It’s never made me feel good dieting,  and so it’s never worked for me!  Plus, life and yoga have taught me to be happy with myself as I am, (if that doesn’t sound too wanky), or at least happy enough, and how to find and employ strategies to keep this functioning for me.

And they have also taught me the benefits and I suppose, the responsibility I have, to finding what eating system helps me be the best version of me there can be, and therefore helping make the world be a better place for those around me!!

monsanto_picSome foods make me go all shades of crazy!  See mind-gut below.

I’ve learned that like everything, being happy with ourselves is a choice, it’s a mind issue, because no matter what stories we tell ourselves, that how we’ll be happy when we have this or that, or if we looked like this or that – whether thin, obese, short, tall, striking, plain, we can choose to believe we are not good enough for one reason or another, or we can choose to believe we are wonderful and beautiful.  Sounds a little crazy but c’mon, you know it’s true.  And if you don’t, you need to read some Louise, she who taught me that!

So then, what of the EFFECTS of what and how and where we eat ?  And to whom do we listen?!  It was wrecking my head for a while there … it seems to be pretty complex …

You call me paranoidOne thing I definitely know, is that I don’t listen to government guidelines on nutrition.   And that’s any government.   

It’s not just about following advice.  Empirical evidence will guide us if we are willing to listen.   I mean, I know without a doubt that when I eat sugar I get cramps, bad wind and become aggressive and short/bad tempered, and when I wake in the mornings I can feel the inflammation in my joints.  I know when I eat grains, especially lentils, chickpeas and some beans, that I get really bad tummy ache and a lingering feeling of exhaustion.  If I drink red wine that contains preservatives, I get a hangover after HALF A GLASS!!!  And lately, a new phenomenon for me – heartburn.  One sip is enough to cause me that.

So I know that some of these people I follow (nutritionally) are on to something … some of it has been very helpful …

… But then the conflicting reports!!

An important and insightful thing my mother has always said is “a little bit of everything won’t do you any harm”, and of course that’s the key to life in a nutshell. The problem for most people is how much is a little bit?!  It’s a little bit subjective, isn’t it?!  And it’s a very big (and some argue chemical?) problem for a lot of people.

SO, while I spend a decent portion of my time trying to keep up to date with what is the optimal way to nourish ourselves, and food-wise, have tried different schools of thought from low-fat, low-salt, rawfood, vegetarianism, ayurveda, paleo, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, fructose free, grain free …. I’ve come across so many differing opinions, research and advice, that I have been a little disheartened by it all.  Just when you think you are following best advice, someone comes along and blows that theory out of your filtered water!

The latest for me was that apparently: CACAO IS NOT A SUPERFOOD!  Dammit!  And it seems that’s been a contentious issue for a while – hmph! … news to me!!  You could read this article (above) and decide to limit your cacao intake … unless you were to see this video (below) first … (oh, em … interesting delivery from this very popular fellow, n’est-ce pas?!)

Who to believe: I don’t know anymore how the frick I’m supposed to eat my food?!

So having had a gutful of everyone else’s theories, what I’ve been doing is listening more to my own gut, or mind-gut.  Taking on board different ‘healthfoodosophies’ and noticing how I feel afterwards.  After all, everyone’s gut is different, and this latest revelation’s been a real kick in the guts for me!  So now, I kinda mix it up a bit.  My version of ‘a little bit of everything’.  Well … there is the whole psychosomatic side of things too, the placebo effect, etc.  If you think what you’re eating is healthy and good then you’ll feel healthy and good, no?!

When You Focus On Problems

SO …  I’m still picky and fussy sometimes.  I make an effort.  Other times I might just go that chocolate cornetto with my morning caffe-latte!  IMostly though, I try not to let my mind go pinging with negative or questioning thoughts about what I’m eating – I try to relax my belly by breathing down into it and releasing the tension I tend to hold there!  I stick a smile on my dial and enjoy my choices!!

Because these days to me, the mind is looking for the right and the wrong and yet at the same time nothing is right or wrong, it just is what it is.  I think it’s important to eat with awareness, to make conscious decisions about how we nurture ourselves, and then try and go with the flow about it as much as possible.  That’s my ideal position on it.

It’s like one big experiment.  But as Chauncey Gardner says, “LIFE’S A STATE OF MIND” … so keep yours positive, inquisitive and OPEN!

Thanks for letting me spill my guts here … gotta go and make some cacao and coconut, sugar-free treats now … 🙂

What’s your foodosophy?

max planck

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